National Anthem


National Anthem was released as a single on July 6, 2012, through Interscope Records. The song serves as Born to Die fifth single. The music video for the song premiered on June 27, 2012. It is directed by Anthony Mandler. It depicts Lana Del Rey as Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy and A$AP Rocky as John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Mandler stated the concept was Del Rey’s and that she was “really interested in exploring this loss of innocence, this idea that what you think you’re experiencing is maybe not what it’s always going to be. Because when you say ‘Kennedy,’ that immediately evokes something, just like when I say ‘It’s a Romeo and Juliet story.’ So I think using that power, that pedigree of the story is a really fascinating place to show the loss of something, the breakdown of something.”

Mandler described the video as being seen “through [Onassis’] eyes, seeing this kind of castle crumble in the moment, and that shot where she’s coming up out of the car, and the pain in her eyes, that destruction, it’s like the whole castle is crumbling around her.” Del Rey cited the video as “definitely the most beautiful thing” she’s ever done. Del Rey wrote the treatment for herself and ASAP Rocky saying “he’d be really perfect to star in it.”


Jackie and America’s Guernica

“I’d been thrilled having Kennedy as president; he was handsome, young, smart–but it didn’t bother me that much that he was dead. What bothered me was the way the television and radio were programming everybody to feel so sad.”

Andy Warhol


16 Jackies, Andy Warhol, 1964


After President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, Andy Warhol began his series of “Jackie paintings” in response to the media blitz that followed the incident. 16 Jackies is a grid of four different images based on news photos of Jacqueline Kennedy from international press coverage of JFK’s death.


According to Christopher Knight (Los Angeles Times art critic):

For art, the 1963 murder of a president became America’s Guernica.

In style, emotional tenor and generation, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol were very different artists. But both made paintings that spoke to an epic social trauma of their day. And both used the same motif — a weeping woman — to focus the unfathomable event.

Over three hours in the afternoon of April 26, 1937, German bombers pummeled an ancient Basque village in Northern Spain with a hundred thousand pounds of high-explosive and incendiary bombs, reducing the town of Guernica to smoking rubble. Shock waves spread across Europe.

Picasso, then 55 and a mature artist, went to work. In a few weeks’ time he completed a big painting that would become an anguished modern icon of anti-war protest….


Guernica (detail), Pablo Picasso, 1937


The Weeping Woman,Pablo Picasso, 1937.
This painting was the final and most elaborate of the Weeping Woman series, which is regarded as a thematic continuation of the tragedy depicted in Picasso’s epic painting Guernica. In focusing on the image of a woman crying, the artist was no longer painting the effects of the Spanish Civil War directly, but rather referring to a singular universal image of suffering.


…Warhol’s weeping women are cold, Picasso’s are hot. Picasso’s boil over, Warhol’s remain numb. Picasso’s are violently intimate, Warhol’s passively remote. Picasso prized individual heroics, Warhol disappeared into the crowd..

But like Picasso, Warhol understood that art can function as a powerful social lever. His emotionally neutered Jackie portraits used American popular culture as a weapon, not a target. Warhol’s icy weeping woman put Picasso squarely in the cross hairs — Picasso and all the accumulated mythologies and pretensions of established Modern art..

The younger artist had no choice. For as long as art’s old aesthetic machismo held sway, there simply was no room for the likes of him. So, with the deliberateness of an assassin, Warhol coolly killed it off.

A Time for Greatness and JFK’s Bold Legacy

Portrait of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Norman Rockwell, 1960


In The Norman Rockwell Album of 1961, the artist recalled his encounters with Kennedy.

It was a cold, misty morning in Hyannis Port. Mr. Kennedy leaned out of an upstairs window in his pajamas and said to go right on into the house, he would be down in a minute.  While Mr. Kennedy ate his breakfast, I selected a room in which to take photographs.  As I posed him, I remarked that I thought a rather dignified, serious pose would be best; his youthful appearance should not be emphasized.  He agreed.  Afterward we walked onto to the breakwater near the house to see his sailboat.  As we were returning to the house, Mr. Kennedy suggested that we try the pose again.  He felt that he had been a little stiff the first time.  We did, and his expression was just what I had wanted—serious, with a certain dignity, but relaxed and pleasant, not hard.


A time for Greatness, 1964


The Peace Corps (J.F.K.’s Bold Legacy), 1966


Rockwell repeated the simple and powerful style used in Freedom of Worship to lend impact to this painting. Knowing his strength lay in communicating ideas and feelings through facial expressions, Rockwell chose to portray faces rather than situations to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Corps. During his 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy proposed the idea of a volunteer organization of trained people who would be sent to developing nations in Africa and Asia to assist villagers in educational and agricultural projects. In 1961, the program which Kennedy hoped would promote understanding between nations was officially instated.

Rockwell’s portrait of Kennedy is based on a Jacques Lowe photograph from his book, The Kennedy Years. Former Peace Corps workers posed for most of the figures. “In this sordid world of power struggles, politics and national rivalries the Peace Corps seems to stand almost alone,” wrote Rockwell to art director Allen Hurlburt, when he sent the picture to Look magazine.

Towards a Definitive Statement

Towards a definitive statement on the coming trends in men’s wear and accessories (a) Together let us explore the stars,  Richard Hamilton, 1962


This work explores how masculinity and fashion can be determined by a technological environment – here signaled by the glamour of the space race, typified by John F Kennedy’s 1961 exhortation to go to the moon. Hamilton’s investigation of the languages of advertising and popular culture through painting and collage has a critical  intention as much as a poetic force. He understood that “the artist in twentieth-century urban life is inevitably a consumer of mass culture and potentially a contributor to it.”